February 2021
Each month "NCART News" delivers the latest Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Medicare and Medicaid updates, advocacy opportunities, and event information all in one place.
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CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories
As we finish the month of February, the prospect of July 1 Medicare payment cuts to CRT Manual Wheelchair accessories is becoming a potential threat.

We are continuing the dialogue with CMS as to the need to “make permanent” the Congressionally mandated 18-month suspension of applying inappropriate Medicare Competitive Bid Program payment rates to these specialized items. NCART and other CRT industry stakeholders have provided analysis and recommendations to CMS as to the pathway to implement a permanent policy change, but CMS has not come to a conclusion yet.

Unfortunately, this is complicated by the change in Administration and the fact that a new Secretary of Health and Human Services and a new CMS Administrator have not yet been seated. Once the new Secretary and Administrator are in place, we will be emphasizing the need for quick action and engaging our Congressional champions to reinforce that request.
Power Seat Elevating and Standing Coverage
Our work with the Item Coalition led workgroup continues in engaging with CMS regarding the submitted request for Medicare coverage of Power Seat Elevation and Standing systems. We have had discussions with CMS on the information presented and another call is being scheduled for late March. 
One of the next steps in the process will be CMS publishing a public notice that the related National Coverage Determination (NCD) has been opened for reconsideration. Upon this notice, there will be a 30-day public comment period during which organizations and individuals can provide comments to CMS.
In addition to encouraging the submission of supportive public comments, the work ahead will involve further dialogue with the CMS review team and responding to questions or requests for additional information. Stay tuned for further updates.
Federal Telehealth Update
The clinician subgroup of the CRT Remote Services Consortium has been working diligently for months to develop a document that offers guidance to clinicians considering telehealth for clients using CRT. The “Clinician’s Guide to Use of Telehealth for CRT Service Provision” was published in February and offers information on determining when telehealth is an appropriate option for CRT, preparing for telehealth visits, case studies, and other considerations for those exploring telehealth options. Special thanks go to the Clinician Task Force for their leadership and development of this document and to others who provided input. The Guide can be downloaded by clicking the button below.

On Capitol Hill, Congress continues to consider legislative language that would make telehealth options permanent beyond the Public Health Emergency. NCART and other CRT stakeholders are meeting with Congressional staff to discuss the benefits for individuals using CRT and are requesting that any bills include Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists as approved telehealth practitioners. For more details and to email your Members of Congress to support this request visit www.protectmymobility.org.
NCART Mobility Management Podcast
NCART Executive Director Don Clayback and Associate Director Mickae Lee met with Laurie Watanabe of Mobility Management to discuss an insider’s view of CRT advocacy, how changing landscapes in Washington D.C. impact our work, and what’s new in the first quarter of 2021. Listen to the discussion by clicking the button below.
"No Cuts to CRT" Toolkit Developed
As Governors share their state Budget proposals, NCART continues to monitor possible rate reductions for CRT suppliers. To strengthen these efforts, we have developed a “No Cuts to CRT” tool kit to provide guidance when communicating with state legislatures and health departments. The tool kit includes a position paper with key CRT talking points, infographics with state Medicaid information, a summary of the CRT delivery process, and other information supporting the need to protect CRT from rate reductions that would reduce access. For more details or to request the tool kit for work in your state, email Mickae Lee by clicking the button below.
March CRT Industry Webinar
Time flies and the first quarter of 2021 is already coming to a close. Don’t miss out on your chance to get important updates on CRT initiatives and resources. Register for the next CRT Industry Webinar, scheduled for March 16 at 4:00 PM ET, by clicking the button below. To listen to recordings of previous webinars, visit www.ncart.us.
State CRT Work in February
NCART continues its work on state-level issues that impact access to CRT. If you are currently dealing with a CRT issue that we can help with, please send us an email using the button below. Here are the highlights from our February work:
  • Payor Relations Committee - The committee, comprised of CRT suppliers and manufacturers, met for their monthly meeting to review current state work and discuss additional CRT concerns on the state level; the next meeting is scheduled for March 9.
  • California - CRT legislation is being introduced to improve CRT recognition and polices along with providing relief from the current across-the-board 10% payment reduction.
  • Illinois - An NCART workgroup met with HFS to discuss state budget concerns and CRT policy development; NCART attended the budget presentation of HFS to rule out any rate reductions to CRT suppliers; a virtual CRT in-service is being coordinated for HFS leadership, review staff, and the Bureau of Managed Care.
  • Minnesota - NCART and MAMES met with DHS to discuss the Governor's budget proposal that includes rate reductions to DME suppliers; public comments regarding the proposed reductions were submitted to the Medicaid Services Advisory Committee; follow up meetings are being coordinated.
  • New York - NYSDOH released a policy clarification indicating that mobility equipment needed for community use only is a covered benefit to ensure that "in the home" limitations are not applied to Medicaid beneficiaries; the update is being used to inform suppliers and clinicians until policy language can be formally updated, likely in the fall.
  • Texas - NCART attended the Texas State of Reform Conference to learn about upcoming Medicaid priorities and listen to legislative feedback on the Texas Medicaid program; public comments were submitted regarding possible rate reductions to HCPCS E codes; and we will be submitting comments regarding the specialty providers provision of SB 1207 as well as testifying at a February 26 public hearing.
NCART Welcomes Mobility First
NCART is growing again, adding CRT supplier Mobility First to the membership roster. Located in Independence, Missouri, Mobility First has been faithfully offering mobility solutions to their community since 1997. We’re excited to have the Mobility First team on board and look forward to their input and engagement in our CRT advocacy work.

If your company supplies or manufactures Complex Rehab Technology, now is the time to join NCART. As the national CRT advocacy organization, our work is focused on ensuring that policies and reimbursement support appropriate access to CRT for the community that depends on it. For more information on how to become a member, click the button below.
New Websites Coming
We're happy to share that we are in the process of upgrading NCART's websites, www.ncart.us and www.access2CRT.org.

The two redesigned websites will offer fresh features to provide education and advocacy information for advocates involved in protecting CRT access. New tools and updated resources will be available to support CRT advocacy work.

Be on the lookout for the final "reveal" soon!
2021 CRT Event Calendar
NCART welcomes opportunities to support the CRT community by participating in events that promote education and advocacy. Here are some of the upcoming events we're proud to be a part of:

  • March 9-10: PAMES State Association Virtual Conference
  • March 15-16: FAHCS State Association Virtual Conference
  • March 18-19: ATHOMES State Association Virtual Conference
  • March 23-25 : NEMEP State Association Virtual Conference
  • March 26-27: Abilities Expo Virtual Event
  • March 30-April 1: PAMS State Association Virtual Conference
Monthly Motivation
"Experience the Magic"
Anyone who has attended an Abilities Expo knows that the events are packed with tools, resources, new technology, and support for the disability community. Their next event on March 26-27 is not only completely virtual, it's also completely free! Learn more and get registered by visiting www.abilities.com. NCART will be exhibiting and Executive Director, Don Clayback, will be part of a live interview with Abilities staff on March 27!

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